Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — with a little help from a stunt double — showed off his bicycle skills, teaming up with the Israeli cycling team to release a video on Wednesday that celebrates the international Giro D’Italia bike race to be held in Israel, in a historic first, next month.
In the video, Netanyahu eschews his chauffeur-driven limousine, removes his tie and hops on a bike to show off his skills to members of the Israel Cycling Academy, who will take part in the international race for the first time.
“No need for a car. The Giro is coming to Israel. I must practice,” he quips.
He tells the Israeli team that bike racing is a “piece of cake” for him, and then he shows off his skills, doing wheelies and other stunts on the bike with a warning on the screen “not to try this at home.”
Actually, the stunts were performed by a double.
“Wow, prime minister, you can really ride,” says Canadian real estate mogul Sylvan Adams, the driving force and main financier responsible for bringing the Giro to Israel.
After they ride around the Prime Minister’s residence for a few seconds, the team is then shown cycling past Jerusalem’s Old City as the video fades out.
The Giro Big Start Israel, to be held May 4-6 at an estimated cost of NIS 120 million ($34 million), will be one of the most expensive single sporting events in the country’s history.
The first three days of the 21-day race will be held in Israel, consisting of a 10-kilometer time trial in Jerusalem, a 167-kilometer race from Haifa to Tel Aviv, and a 226-kilometer race from Beersheba to Eilat. Afterwards, the 176 riders from 22 teams will fly to Italy to ride the remaining 18 stages of the race, finishing in Rome.
It is the first time in the 101-year history of the Giro D’Italia that the race will start outside of Europe.
Melanie Lidman contributed to this report.